Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keys News

This time of year was known among British journalists as "silly season" because it was supposed to be the time of year when news was supplanted by fluff, silly stories of celebrities and vacations and pointless minor scandals. Now that all news seems to be directed at diverting us instead of informing us, silly season has spread to the whole year long.


Except in the Keys where the routine of picking the Citizen up in the driveway becomes a daily adventure, frequently of epic proportions. In today's paper four big stories covered the front page and left my head spinning.


The school board has announced as heroically as only men under threat of election can, that administrators must take the next hit as budget cuts continue to slash the education of southernmost Floridians. The janitors ate their lunch this year and next year the board says administrators must eat theirs. Mind you neither group actually pays a penny toward the cost of their own health insurance while teachers pay every month.


Parents are opting for charter schools, they say, widening the ongoing rift between haves and have- nots for a brave new century ahead. We live in unhappy times and the devil take the hindmost, the slow, the crippled, the abandoned have no place in our new New Deal. The smart parents are fleeing the Keys and taking their kids with them. Enrollment drops, funding drops, commitment to public education drops and the future underclass grows up ready to shoulder the burden of labor that only the uneducated will be fit to do. This is how we dismantle the Land of Opportunity.


The son of a prominent lawyer put on a snitch jacket according to the paper and avoided jail time like others in the recently "settled" Rusty Anchor fraudulent fish case. The restaurant paid a half million dollar fine for making God knows how much by buying fish illegally from unlicensed fishermen. Why anyone would eat at a place that made a habit, unknown to the owners they say, of stealing from legal commercial fishermen I don't know. But the lawyer's son cooperated with the FBI and earned a get out of jail free card. The lower caste accomplices got up to a year in clink, poor saps. The restaurant continues to flourish in a world where justice has lost all meaning.


The next piece of news in the delicious irony column is the lawsuit being pressed forward by the owners of the swanky condos at Sunset Marina. When the city's old waste to energy plant on Stock Island was ready for an upgrade they 'persuaded' the city to shut it down and ship trash to Pompano Beach, thus depriving the city of 30 percent of electricity generation for almost free...Now they want the unsightly poor removed from Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter at the jail. The concept of noblesse oblige is entirely dead in our world driven mad by fear and greed.


The irony of this latest social engineering lawsuit is that the Florida Supreme Court in a moment of socialist madness ruled that jurisdictions may not move along public sleepers if the jurisdiction does not offer the human beings an alternative place to doss. In fact when KOTS fills up each night they call us in police dispatch to tell us and we let the officers know so the letter of the law is followed. The gist of the condo owners' suit is the city failed to follow its own permitting process to open KOTS; city officials from the period say it was an emergency. Let the courts decided, but let's hope the condo owners lose.


In the good news column, at the very bottom of the front page the paper reports the bullies of Wisteria Island ballsed up their lawsuit on two maniacs caught walking the beach of the uninhabited island off Key West. The owners lost their trespassing lawsuit "on a technicality" as the paper sniffs dismissively but one trespasser was found not guilty by the jury who agreed with his defense that he was on the beach reading the illegible No Trespassing sign. The reporter on the story had the gall to write "this may not be the trial of the century" which I thought was a nice piece of dismissive editorializing, quite possibly left the final draft by accident, but we should be glad the story ran at all, I suppose. The owners of the island which has been abandoned for decades and used as a dog run by liveaboard boaters, want to get a county variance and put 75 buildings on Christmas Tree Island, as it is known locally. The county general plan allows for two homes. Money talks and all this has been nothing more than a skirmish in the Great Wisteria War of the 21st Century. Expect the homes to be built and vast fortunes to be propagated. They will even promise the property taxes will revitalize our schools for the disadvantaged children of our county.

Like I said, it's silly season.


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Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

I hgve always thought the expression "life goes on" summed up the only really good attitude one could take in like. Yet it is becoming more and more apparent that the "evey man for himself" approach is the one that is goig to work in this era.

I think we can expect the generation of the "seven lean cows" to go on indefinitelty as the political leaders of both parties continue to look for answers by shoving their heads further up their collecive asses.

The Obama Administration has made it painfully obvious they haven't got a clue as to the next move, and the entire Republican Party could easily fit into the clown car at the circus.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads